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Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MSc)

MSc|Postgraduate Taught

Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages

Entry year
Entry requirements
1 year (Full Time)
3 years (Part Time)
Places available
no limit (Full Time)
no limit (Part Time)
This course is now closed to applications for September 2021. If you are interested in September 2022 entry, please register your interest.
  • Overview

    This is a professionally-oriented higher degree for those who intend to follow a career in English Language Teaching (ELT) and teachers who wish to extend and develop their knowledge of language education. The MSc TESOL team is internationally recognised for its range of teaching and research in language education and Applied Linguistics.

    The programme enables participants to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to devise and teach effective English language courses, in addition to equipping students with the essential research and analytical skills to keep up with the rapid developments in the field of TESOL and Applied Linguistics.

    Through the range of modules, you can also focus on certain aspects of TESOL and language learning, including, materials development, bilingual education, the impact of digital literacies, and language assessment. One of the key features of the MSc TESOL is that the programme is linked directly to the new Centre for Language Education which means that students can benefit from a rich research culture to augment their course activities.

    Closing date for applications: Thursday 30 June 2022 at 4pm.

    Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages highlights

    Our educational research has been ranked 4th within the UK in relation to research intensity with 87% assessed as ‘internationally excellent or world leading’ (REf, 2014).

    Student Experience

    • Small-group teaching The MSc TESOL team is internationally recognised for its range of teaching and research in language education and Applied Linguistics.
    • Flexibility Diploma and Certificate options are also available.
    • Credit transfer Students who have completed other masters-level awards, eg PGCE, within the last 10 years are eligible to credit transfer. The credit transfer application must be submitted at the same time as the online programme application as retrospective applications are not accepted.
    • Disciplinary-focused assessment There are no written examinations. All modules are assessed by written assignments which have a professional and/or theoretical focus. Examples include: case studies, language analysis, and materials evaluations. Formative assessment practices to support students are a key feature of MSc TESOL modules.
  • Course content

    Course Structure

    Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (3 years) basis. Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.

    The MSc is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a 15,000 - 20,000 word research dissertation (60 CATS points).

    Exit qualifications are available: students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught modules or a Postgraduate Certificate by successfully completing 60 CATS points from taught modules.

    Course DetailsCore Modules include (all 20 CATS):

    An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education
    This introductory research methods module is compulsory for all Master's students in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work and assumes no previous experience or knowledge of research methods. The aim of the module is to provide a general research overview and to contextualize the broad range of approaches and debates that are evident within contemporary educational research.

    Language Awareness for Teaching
    This module will consider the different systems and skills of the English language (phonology, grammar, lexis, discourse, speaking, listening, reading and writing) and equip course participants with the skills needed to analyse language for teaching purposes. The module will place emphasis on the use of pedagogic grammars and adopt a systemic/ functional approach to grammar. Particular attention will be given to the study of spoken and written discourse.

    Language Learning and Teaching
    This module will provide an overview of the key theories associated with language learning and language acquisition in the formal context of the classroom. It will offer module participants an opportunity to assess different approaches to the support of learning in a range of TESOL contexts.

    TESOL: Principles and Practices
    This module will consider the principles and practices of ELT methodology and trace developments over the past 20 years. From the advent of ‘the communicative approach’ to the current ‘post-method’ era, the course will examine a range of pedagogical issues and evaluate their impact on current classroom practice.

    Optional module: (20 CATS)
    One optional module may be chosen from those offered on the Educational Studies (MEd) programme including the following:

    Issues in Language Assessment for TESOL*
    This module explores key issues in assessment including the relationship between assessment and learning, feedback, and the impact of assessment and testing on learning. It provides an overview of key assessment concepts of validity and reliability and considers various models of assessment practice and feedback. This module examines the notion of language proficiency for TESOL and current methods and practices in classroom-based language assessment.
    *Students cannot take Assessment Issues in Teaching and Learning in Classrooms if taking this module.

    Digital Literacy and Communication
    The aim of this module is to examine the impact of new digital literacies upon language learning and TESOL. The module begins from a social practice view of literacy, which is then used as a lens to critically examine digital literacy in contemporary society, and its role in language education. Course participants will also examine methodologies that have been applied to researching language and literacy in digital environments. The module equips course participants with the skills needed to practically examine and analyse digital literacy in the lives of people, in institutions, and in wider society.

    Materials Development for TESOL
    This module will examine the notion of ‘context’ in relation to the teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Beginning with the classroom as context, participants will have an opportunity to develop their own interactional awareness as a means of promoting learning opportunity. The module will then consider the broader notion of ELT contexts in relation to the cultural politics of English as an international language and assess the impact that different contexts has on approaches to teaching and learning, assessment and the design and use of curricula and teaching materials.

    Bilingualism, Literacy and Disciplinary Literacy Development
    This module is designed to provide participants with a foundational understanding of bilingualism/multilingualism and models of bilingual/multilingual education. The module will advance teachers’ understanding of the pedagogical and programmatic practices for addressing linguistic and academic needs of multilingual learners by drawing on their linguistic and cultural resources. The course will cover historical and theoretical foundations of bilingual education as related to various bilingual programs, including instruction, curriculum, and assessment.

    People teaching you

    Module tutor


    Module tutor

    Dr Ibrar Bhatt is Senior Lecturer in Education at Queen’s University Belfast. He is a Leverhulme Research Fellow (2021-22), a member of the Governing Council of the Society for Research into Higher Education, and Executive Editor for the journal ‘Teaching in Higher Education’. He specialises in research and teaching related to literacy and writing studies, digital epistemologies and higher education. He tweets at @ibrar_bhatt.

    Programme Director

    Email: Dr. Mel Engman's research interests address questions related to Indigenous/heritage language maintenance and reclamation, materials use, identity, and policy in a variety of language teaching and learning contexts. She draws on her years of experience with Native and settler educators in the Upper Midwest of the United States to examine the intersections of language, sign, and power in the social and material world.

    Module tutor

    Email: Dr Sin-Wang Chong’s main research interests include assessment feedback in higher education, educational/language assessment, and qualitative research synthesis. He is also interested in educational technology and applied linguistics.

    Module tutor

    Email: Dr Sultan Turkan’s academic background is in language teaching and teacher education. Her research focuses on promoting bilinguals/multilinguals’ participation and engagement in the formal and informal processes of schooling and other sociocultural landscapes through drawing on bilinguals/multilinguals’ linguistic and cultural capital.

    Contact Teaching Hours

    Medium Group Teaching
    10 (hours maximum)
    Weekly module lectures (in classroom and online live), online discussion and recorded.
    Personal Study
    24 (hours maximum)
    e.g. 22-24 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study through online activities.

    Teaching Times

    In-class teaching is on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Online sessions are in the mornings on the same days.

    Career Prospects

    Graduates have found their degree very beneficial in gaining employment in a range of teaching institutions worldwide, international agencies and examination bodies, and to gain promotion in their current workplace. Others progress to further doctoral-level studies and research.

    Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

    Learning and Teaching

    Learning opportunities available with this course are outlined below:

    Contact hours per semester

    Varies, depending on module choice and study mode (full-time/part-time).


    Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:

    There are no written examinations. Modules are assessed through written assignments, including case studies, language analysis and coursebook evaluations.


    The School is situated across a suite of three buildings in Belfast's Queen's Quarter. We provide student and staff common rooms, computer suites and designated study spaces.
    Explore the teaching and social spaces in our School through our 360 Virtual Tour:

    The Graduate School

    Prizes and Awards

    • Teachers working on classroom-based dissertation projects may apply for the Northern Ireland Centre for Educational Research (NICER) award.
  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    A 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any subject discipline plus evidence of relevant teaching experience (minimum of 30 hours).

    Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may also be considered if they have at least two years of professional experience in an education, training or relevant context plus evidence of relevant teaching experience (minimum of 30 hours).

    Closing date for applications: Thursday 30th June 2022 at 4pm.

    Late applications may be considered. This will not be advertised on course finder but if applications are very low the School may consider late applications. Please refer to School at the time of deadline.

    Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal prior to the deadline stated on course finder. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.

    International Students

    Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.

    English Language Requirements

    Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.

    International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.

    For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see:

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
    • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £6,650
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £6,650
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £7,470
    EU Other 3 £18,200
    International £18,200

    1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.

    2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements.

    3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    More information on postgraduate tuition fees.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

    Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.

    Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

    If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

    Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

    There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

    Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages costs

    Students who choose to conduct dissertation research in Northern Ireland, involving participants under the age of 18, will be required to undergo an Enhanced Disclosure Check with Access NI costing £33.

    How do I fund my study?

    The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.

    A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.

    More information on funding options and financial assistance.

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at

  • Apply

    How to Apply

    Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

    Apply now

    When to Apply

    The deadline for applications is normally 30th June 2021. In the event that any programme receives a high volume of applications, the university reserves the right to close the application portal earlier than 30th June deadline. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Entry Portal (DAP) against the programme application page.

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
    Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

    Download a prospectus